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New performance synth advice

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New performance synth advice

Postby Mjjwatson » Fri May 27, 2011 6:33 pm

Hey there, I was looking to get some advice on buying my next synth. I play in a band, and juggle two synths, a violin and lead vocals, so although I want some serious power when creating my patches, a billion knobs and faders isn't necessary as I won't be doing a huge amount of live sound tweaking.

I'm looking for something with some meaty distortion and effects built in, some kind of live sequencing capacity and something that's not too heavy for taking around. I used to be pretty devoted to novation but I'm eager to broaden my horizons.

Any thoughts? Thanks a million in advance
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby The Elf » Fri May 27, 2011 9:51 pm

Hi and welcome! :D

The Kurzweil K-series are still my performance synth of choice, and still come in at bargain prices. There are some great modern alternatives, but I've not yet felt the need to pursue them.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby MarkOne » Sat May 28, 2011 11:04 am

What's your budget?

The Fantom G is a brilliant synth for live use, combining live mode and Favourites, I can just change to the next live set at the press of a footswitch. And you can layer and split up to 8 different patches per set.

I have also become enamoured of the sample pads allowing me to trigger special effects for intros and even short sampled sequences to provide some interesting textures during a song.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby Mjjwatson » Sat May 28, 2011 12:32 pm

Hey thanks for the reply. I get the impression Fantom G is a bit of an all rounder, with a decent amount of effort put into string/ piano sounds etc. To be a bit clearer I want a synth and only a synth, purely for electronic sounds and for creating new sounds myself. I also want something with balls and guts, which is why I mentioned the distortion thing.

Anyone had experience with the waldorf blofeld? I like the sound of it, wondering if anyone's used it live and had good/ bad experience.

Budget? Up to a grand I think. But less if possible, then I could get some other things too :)
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Sat May 28, 2011 2:56 pm

Mjjwatson wrote:Hey thanks for the reply. I get the impression Fantom G is a bit of an all rounder

And it'll do all the synthesis-style stuff anything you can mention will, the PC editor also gives you access to lower level control that most of the monophonic synths won't.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby Mjjwatson » Sat May 28, 2011 2:59 pm

The logic is that I'd be paying for features I don't need though, right?
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Sun May 29, 2011 8:36 am

Mjjwatson wrote:The logic is that I'd be paying for features I don't need though, right?

How many of those dedicated synths have sequencing on board or great effects, and you did say you'd like to broaden your horizon? The general notion is that dedicated synths are more powerful in the sound creation stakes, it's just not true in any sense - the Fantom has plenty of assignable controllers, although it might not quite be as intuitive as a synth with only 20 rotary knobs, but I'm really looking hard to find a reason not to get a Fantom.

A good economic reason would be that Fantom's (and the like) will sell all day long, they don't have a specific audience, but some of the more dedicated performance synths appeal to a specific audience.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby Mjjwatson » Sun May 29, 2011 9:08 am

Mmm, I appreciate your help but I really don't think the Fantom is for me. Those features I don't need are a waste of money, and it seems very weighty and large too.

I mentioned I wanted a sequencer on board, but if it's not possible from a dedicated synth I'm willing to skip that feature
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby John F » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:29 pm

I'm after a synth also, to play early 80s tunes.
Already have PC3x, Triton classic and JX-8p, but the other day stumbled across a good used Korg Radias.
Anyone have any opinions on them. On the face of it, there are to many flashing lights and whizzy arps battling it out. But will it be a good ordinary synth also?
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:47 am

Mjjwatson wrote:Mmm, I appreciate your help but I really don't think the Fantom is for me.

It has easily the best effects engine, it's easily the most powerful synth, it has the largest onboard colour screen, and I wouldn't call the G6 particularly heavy.

It sounds more to me as though you already know what you want to buy, just go and buy it.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby Scramble » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:57 pm

If you were to take the Fantom route then, to avoid paying far more than you want to, I would look for a second-hand X6, or the Xa (which is like a slightly cut-down version of the X6). The X series is the Fantom series before the G. These can be had for well under £1000.

You could also try a Korg M50 -- the 61 and 76-key version sell for £800/£1000 new. It sounds pretty good and has an onboard sequencer.

Or maybe an old Yamaha Motif, or Motif ES?

But it depends on what sort of sounds you're looking for. These are all good all-rounder keyboards that do most things well.
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby apeshake » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:40 am

i can see why you don't want to go the fantom route - i can't believe anyone ever bought a workstation synth without a little bit of their money going on some features they'll never use - in your case a lot of money

if you're willing to forget about the sequencer then i think you probably should...

i've got a roland jp8000 and a virus kb - both are brilliant synths for live - the roland being a little more user friendly for programming - but without distortion so maybe the virus is more up your street

you could always get another box for effects though (especially since i doubt either of those synths would cost you over £700)
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Re: New performance synth advice

Postby Guido3 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:24 am

I am in the same boat. I use a Fantom X8 live and am looking for a synth to complement it. The Fantom can cover most of the bread and butter sound so like you I am looking for a pure synth. My list is..........

Roland JP8000 (Haven't had chance to try one yet)
Korg Z1 (Owned one before - A git to program but can make some fantastic sounds)
Kurzweil K2000 (It has been around a while but I can't get over how many people still recommend this board)

All of these can be had for well under £500.

I do like the look of the Korg Radias but still a bit on the pricey side for my budget.

What about a Nord Lead?
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